I recently came across this article on "10 Small Business Social Media Marketing Tips".
Check it out! This article breaks down how to get started using social marketing methods to drive your business. Good stuff!
However, it does not really cover two important points about social marketing. In order to get the results you desire when "socializing" you have to master technique and have tenacity. Here are two points I would ad to the great information in the article above.
1. Accountability! How do you decide if the time put in equals revenue recieved back? To determine if you are increasing your business, client base, or revenue stream you will need to track and chart your social makreting efforts just like you would a TV, Print or Radio campaign. Come up with a number that represents how much you have invested in the social marketing campaign (hourly rate, % of a salaried employees time, cash outlay to hire a pro). Then come up with a charting mechanism to log followers, comments, downloads, views, or even better phone calls from your social marketing efforts. Track the activity that is generated from your tweets, posts, blogs and be sure to set a time for a review of the data. You should anticipate about 30% of a full work week to be spent driving a social media campaign. You should allow for 3-6 weeks before deciding how the campaign works for your business. A big mistake many make is to judge their social media results too quickly. The trap is thinking the internet is instant - remember that the internet is driven by people. By tracking the response to your efforts you will be able to determine your Revenue Over Ivestment (ROI) and understand what drives your customer base better.
2. Content! You must be able to generate creative, compelling and constant content to be successful. Social media is about engaging the virtual audience and this requires material that is worth their virtual time. Are you engaging through text, images, videos, interactive games, blogging, discussion boards, contests, ect? Are you posting material that is both entertaining but effective at linking to your key messaging? Are you able to seed the virtual world with enough content that it spreads virally and quickly? In order to manage a social media campaign as a meaningful way to drive more cutomers to your business you must have a very creative person/s that can spend a large part of their time "socializing"
Read the article. Consider these two points. Then do something social... follow this blog, make a friend on Facebook, log in to your LinkedIn account, or watch and comment on a video on YouTube. If you want social marketing to work for you then you have to work to be social.
Let's chat again soon somewhere in Cyberspace...